Report: Sixers to fire coach Jordan

Eddie Jordan and his Princeton offense flunked in Philadelphia.

A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated

Press that Eddie Jordan will be fired Thursday after one season as

Philadelphia 76ers coach.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an

announcement has not been made. Jordan is finished after an

underachieving season that had the Sixers mired near the bottom of

the Eastern Conference. Jordan was hired last summer and sold his

Princeton offense as the way to turn them into contenders.

Instead, players were unhappy with his system almost from the

start. The Sixers finished 27-55 and missed the playoffs for the

first time in three years.

The Sixers will look for their fourth coach in three seasons.

Jordan, who was fired last season by Washington, has two

years left on his contract and is owed $6 million.

The person did not address the status of team president and

general manager Ed Stefanski. Stefanski hired Jordan last May.

Jordan, who starred at Rutgers, had ties with Stefanski from their

four seasons together with the New Jersey Nets.

Jordan said Wednesday he was “not concerned” about his job

security before the Sixers lost to the Magic 125-111 to end the

season. Jordan had said he anticipated a team meeting, player-exit

meetings and taking his staff out to lunch on Thursday.

“If you want to be judged alone on the record, then we are

where we are,” Jordan said. “But as far as track record, as far as

how the league works, as far as evaluating your personnel, maybe we

need more time.”

He won’t get any more.

Jordan’s dismissal had been widely speculated for months. His

hire was panned by fans and media from the day he arrived and the

players never warmed to the Princeton offense.

Marreese Speights, Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams were among

the promising core of young players whose progress took a major

step back this season. Elton Brand hasn’t performed up to the $80

million contract Stefanski gave him two summers ago, Samuel

Dalembert was his usual erratic self and Andre Iguodala continued

to prove he can’t carry the franchise.

The decision to bring back former franchise great Allen

Iverson was a short-lived bust.

“The talent is there, it is just a matter of putting it all

together,” Iguodala said Wednesday.

Philadelphia was the Eastern Conference’s No. 6 seed last

season, eliminated in the first round by the Magic in six games.

Now the Sixers are headed for the draft lottery. Their only key

loss was point guard Andre Miller.

“They judged the team from their performance last year and

the personnel lost,” Jordan said. “Obviously, the personnel

changed, maybe, maybe expectations should change. Maybe.”

Brand was healthy for the first time in three years, but the

power forward who was once a 20-10 regular, was often benched for

long stretches and crucial fourth quarters. Jordan openly

criticized Brand and Dalembert’s effort and missing defensive

awareness after a loss last week.

“There were times things happened (under Jordan), but it was

a feel-out process during the season,” Brand said after Wednesday

night’s game. “That is understandable and didn’t work that well for

us as the record indicates.”

No one expected the Sixers to contend for the Eastern

Conference title. But this kind of steep dropoff was a surprise.

This move could be seen coming in January when Stefanski

refused to say Jordan’s job was safe for the rest of the season

with the team off to a 10-25 start, nor did he offer a single word

of praise for his first-year coach.

Jordan had a 230-288 record as coach of the Washington

Wizards and Sacramento Kings, but Stefanski gave him a three-year

deal.

Stefanski now has to wonder if he’ll be the one calling the

shots on the next coach.